The National Wildlife Federation was founded in 1936 by editorial cartoonist J.N. Darling. It was founded when President D. Roosevelt convened the first North American Wildlife Conference to stimulate public interest in America's land, water and natural resources. After that the General Wildlife Federation (later changed to the National Wildlife Federation) was founded. It is the nation's largest member-supported conservation group, with over 4 million members and supporters and 46 state affiliate organizations.
The NWF unites many individuals, organizations, businesses and government agencies to protect wildlife, places, and the environment that we all depend on. Through many of their field offices they educate, assist and inspire people from all over to conserve wildlife and other natural resources and protect the Earth's environment in order to achieve a peaceful and sustainable future.
Sixty-three years after being founded, the NWF's primary focus remains education. They provide many book's, magazines and nature programs that provide information to children and their families to bring them closer to nature and show them how to protect it. They provide many tools for individuals to conserve as much as they can at home, on campus, and in everything that they do. They also work with America's lawmakers, political leaders, business leaders and activists about environmental problems and work with them to find effective, common sense solutions.
The NWF offers environmental education programs in communities, in the outdoors, and in the classroom:
Community Based Education
The Backyard Wildlife Habitat program aids and encourages landscaping with the needs of wildlife and the health of the environment in mind. Through this the NWF has certified over 20,000 properties worldwide.
NWF's Campus Ecology program helps students, faculty and administrators obtain resources, tools and consultation to facilitate the establishment of campus-based conservation projects and help develop the next generation of environmental leaders.
Youth and Teen Programs offer young teens and adults a chance to study about nature, learn outdoor skills and gain environmental knowledge.
Nature Link program increases public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors by providing families with weekend excursions centered on environmental conservation.
Conservation Summits are the NWF's outdoor adventure and education experience group. People of all ages can immerse themselves into many destinations through field trips, classes, special presentations and daily youth programs.
NWF's Animal Tracks program offers online and printed conservation education materials geared for grades K-8 to assist teachers in instructing children about the environment and how to care for it.
NWF's National Wildlife Week program brings free conservation materials to more than 620,000 teachers who reach more than 20 million students.
It also provides information through its magazines, television and movie productions and it's World Wide Web Homepage.
Some of the specific activist projects include the following:
- Habitat Conservation Plans
- Buffalo Recovery
- Grizzly Bear Reintroduction
- Climate Change ; Wildlife
- Grazing Reform
- Taking Legislation
- Population and the Environment
- Finance and Environment
- Trade and the Environment
- Great Lakes Pollution Prevention
- Fertility on the Brink: Toxic Pollution Prevention
- Wetlands Status and Trend report
- Wetlands Threats Education Materials
At this moment some of the projects that the NWF is working on include:
Restoring strong protections for endangered sea turtles killed in shrimp trawl nets.
Give citizens the power to nominate specific rivers, lakes or coastal waters as Outstanding National Resource Waters to protect special waters in their communities.
Sources of polluted runoff water and airborne toxins should be allowed to design and obtain approval of site specific plans that are most cost efficient for that source.
Toxic chemicals linked to hazardous health effects must be phased out.
Conduct more research on the reason why amphibian populations are experiencing gross deformations, rapid population decline and sometimes complete extinction in even the most untouched ecosystems.